Sara Gruen

Sara Gruen is the author of the bestselling novel Water for Elephants, soon to be a major motion picture starring Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson, as well as the bestseller Riding Lessons and Flying Changes. She shares her North Carolina home with her own version of a blended family: a husband, three children, four cats, two dogs, two horses, and a goat. In order to write her latest novel, Ape House, Gruen studied linguistics and a system of lexigrams so that she could communicate directly with the bonobos living at the Great Ape Trust in Des Moines, Iowa. She now considers them to be part of her extended family, and, according to the bonobos, the feeling is mutual.
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In this thrilling new novel from the author of Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen again demonstrates her talent for creating spellbinding period pieces. At the Water’s Edge is a gripping and poignant love story about a privileged young woman’s awakening as she experiences the devastation of World War II in a tiny village in the Scottish Highlands.

After disgracing themselves at a high society New Year’s Eve party in Philadelphia in 1944, Madeline Hyde and her husband, Ellis, are cut off financially by his father, a former army colonel who is already ashamed of his son’s inability to serve in the war. When Ellis and his best friend, Hank, decide that the only way to regain the Colonel’s favor is to succeed where the Colonel very publicly failed—by hunting down the famous Loch Ness monster—Maddie reluctantly follows them across the Atlantic, leaving her sheltered world behind.
 
The trio find themselves in a remote village in the Scottish Highlands, where the locals have nothing but contempt for the privileged interlopers. Maddie is left on her own at the isolated inn, where food is rationed, fuel is scarce, and a knock from the postman can bring tragic news. Yet she finds herself falling in love with the stark beauty and subtle magic of the Scottish countryside. Gradually she comes to know the villagers, and the friendships she forms with two young women open her up to a larger world than she knew existed. Maddie begins to see that nothing is as it first appears: the values she holds dear prove unsustainable, and monsters lurk where they are least expected.
 
As she embraces a fuller sense of who she might be, Maddie becomes aware not only of the dark forces around her, but of life’s beauty and surprising possibilities.

Praise for At the Water’s Edge
 
“Breathtaking . . . a daring story of adventure, friendship, and love in the shadow of WWII.”—Harper’s Bazaar
 
“A gripping, compelling story . . . Gruen’s characters are vividly drawn and her scenes are perfectly paced.”—The Boston Globe
 
“A page-turner of a novel that rollicks along with crisp historical detail.”—Fort Worth Star-Telegram
 
“Powerfully evocative.”—USA Today
 
“Gruen is a master at the period piece—and [this] novel is just another stunning example of that craft.”—Glamour
The wildly entertaining new novel from the bestselling author of Water for Elephants.

BONUS: This edition contains a reader's guide.
 
Sam, Bonzi, Lola, Mbongo, Jelani, and Makena are no ordinary apes. These bonobos, like others of their species, are capable of reason and carrying on deep relationships—but unlike most bonobos, they also know American Sign Language.

Isabel Duncan, a scientist at the Great Ape Language Lab, doesn’t understand people, but animals she gets—especially the bonobos. Isabel feels more comfortable in their world than she’s ever felt among humans . . . until she meets John Thigpen, a very married reporter who braves the ever-present animal rights protesters outside the lab to see what’s really going on inside.

When an explosion rocks the lab, severely injuring Isabel and “liberating” the apes, John’s human interest piece turns into the story of a lifetime, one he’ll risk his career and his marriage to follow. Then a reality TV show featuring the missing apes debuts under mysterious circumstances, and it immediately becomes the biggest—and unlikeliest—phenomenon in the history of modern media. Millions of fans are glued to their screens watching the apes order greasy take-out, have generous amounts of sex, and sign for Isabel to come get them. Now, to save her family of apes from this parody of human life, Isabel must connect with her own kind, including John, a green-haired vegan, and a retired porn star with her own agenda.

Ape House delivers great entertainment, but it also opens the animal world to us in ways few novels have done, securing Sara Gruen’s place as a master storyteller who allows us to see ourselves as we never have before.
Нигде так не проявляется человеческий характер, как в отношении к животным – ведь они как дети: беззащитны и при этом чутко реагируют на ложь, не прощают предательства.Исабель обожала своих подопечных – человекообразных обезьян бонобо. Она изучала их повадки, с помощью специальной лингвистической программы разговаривала с ними. Ей было с ними интересно, это был ее мир, который она не променяла бы ни на что на свете. Все рухнуло после чудовищного взрыва в лаборатории, который устроили люди, пытающиеся нажиться на бонобо. Для них питомцы Исабель – забавные зверушки, на которых можно беззастенчиво пялиться и продавать их за деньги.Но Исабель, чудом выжившая после взрыва, не намерена сдаваться – бонобо надо во что бы то ни стало вернуть в лабораторию. Надо стиснуть зубы, забыть, что ее совсем недавно в буквальном смысле слова собрали по кускам, что человек, которому она верила, ее предал, и – бороться. Потому что мы в ответе за тех, кто нам верит.
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